On Winding Down.

recreation (n.)

late 14c., […] noun of action from past participle stem of recreare “to refresh, restore, make anew, revive, invigorate,” from re- “again” (see re-) + creare “create” (from PIE root *ker- (2) “to grow”). Meaning “refresh oneself by some amusement” is first recorded c. 1400.

2pm Friday the pupils left for their summer break, and following staff awards and leaving presentations, we headed to the pub. By 7pm I was home with family and asleep by 10, such was my end-of-term fatigue. Now begins my period of recreation. I use the word in its original sense, above, i.e. the re-creating of myself through “amusement”.

It is important to do this, and I try to ensure I have several days to unwind, not thinking of school at all, catching up on my favourite “amusements”. This helps purge the mind of intrusive thoughts, worries and internal struggles I’ve been having, allowing me to properly relax. There is time enough for such things later in the break, now is the time to unwind and de-stress.

So since breaking up on Friday I have

  • had drinks with fellow teachers and laughed about the yearbe the best you image
  • Played my guitar loudly and cheerfully
  • Spent time with family
  • Taken 5 girls to the cinema to see Mamma Mia 2
  • Finished reading the book “Wonder”

I will be getting back to improving my piano keyboard skills this week, and hopefully blogging more. But mostly I will be reading. My “to-read” pile has grown significantly this year, I have “Mark, Plan, Teach” and lots of fiction to catch up on. Plus as much stuff on cognitive science as I can find, (pointers to Barak Rosenshine and related material very welcome in the comments or on Twitter)

But whatever I do this week it will be to re-create myself. As it now says above my whiteboard: “Be brave, be kind, be the best you”. To be the best me, I have to de-clutter my mind now, and re-fill it with good stuff. I might even fit in some exercise.

Have a great summer.

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